So the Tour De France travelled through Essex today, passing through Finchingfield, just a few miles down the road from where we live. I was going to go along with my camera, but saw some of the coverage of the race itself (as it went through Yorkshire) which very clearly passed by in the blink of an eye and decided I really didn’t want to spend a day¬†fighting through crowds of people for just a few seconds of opportunity seeing the actual racers…so we went on our own tour into Suffolk.

We started off in Dunwich Forest, which surprisingly boasts Dartmoor Ponies as one of its residents, along with Red Deer. We didn’t see either, but saw thousands of butterflies and plenty of dragonflies wizzing around. We had fish and chips at Southwold…hence today’s shot of Southwold taken from the pier – a lovely seaside town…but extremely busy.

We finished the day out at Leiston Abbey, a mainly 14c ruined Abbey which we had seen in passing on a number of times but had just driven past – this was a mistake – it really was quite impressive, even though there’s is not that much left – originally it will have been a very impressive building.

Turning on the telly when we got home we saw Finchingfield – Look East were running their reports from there – they had estimated 5,000 had turned up…it was mobbed – getting any sort of view would have meant arriving very early – we preferred our trip to Suffolk.

We visited Southwold a few weeks ago – you can see those posts by selecting “Suffolk” in the category drop down – top right.

The view of the town is dominated by the lighthouse, typically, it was shut when we visited because it was being refurbished to take on the duties of the decommissioned lighthouse at Orford Ness.

This, perhaps, isn’t your typical view of the lighthouse, being as it’s taken from behind the tower rather than from the coast side. The birds suddenly started swirling around the lamp area which really caught my eye.

You may have gathered, if you follow this blog at all, that we visited Southwold last week. We were so lucky with the weather – mid October and comfortable in just a polo shirt. The sun really was glinting off the North Sea and this contrast really makes this black and white photograph of the resort.

Back to the Suffolk coast.

The colouful beach huts in Southwold certainly brighten up the sea front and look fantastic. You may notice that all these have their backs facing the sea which struck me as rather odd, with the fronts facing into the pay and display car park. I’m assuming they have all been moved back from the beach front for the winter but will definitely make a point in checking where the beach huts are in peak season and which way they face next year.

You can see some of the Essex Beach Huts at Brightingsea here

Here’s a view of the Southwold Pier taken from the north side looking back towards Southwold itself.

We ventured out of Essex for the day and visited Southwold which is the most fabulous, quintessentially English, seaside resort. Southwold boasts a privately owned pier which has a selection of shops and curious exhibitions and displays many of which will feature on this blog over the next few days. So, welcome to Southwold Pier!